For anyone who works or has worked in consulting, the need to set up a process assignment and resource management is simply a matter of course.
At the same time as a few initial assignments are giving way to longer, more complex customer projects, Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheets, overloaded with formulas, are giving way to genuine custom-built tools for the day-to-day management of assignment in consulting firms and IT services companies.
This gives you a real ally in managing the thousand and one things you need to identify, prioritize, arbitrate and allocate your various resources (consultant time, specific technical skills, tool licenses, operating budget, etc.).
But none of this happens by magic. Beyond words and best practices, putting assignment into practice in your team necessarily comes at a cost.
So your bet is on the measurable ROI that results. Objective: convince your teams that this cost is required to benefit from far greater results, and create a positive resource management momentum.
In this article, we'll take a look at the ROI resulting from the implementation of your assignment process, as well as the associated costs.
In reality, the ROI of assignment can be felt even before you perceive any measurable, quantified effect on your consultancy.
The simple fact of setting up a process and specific tools to manage what is the epicenter of your business, i.e. assignment, sends a positive message to your customers, partners and, of course, your employees.
This sends out the signal that your services and the operation of your practice or your IT services companies are becoming even more professional, and that your ambition is to save time and increase efficiency across the board.
But in more factual terms, if we were to consider the two types of ROI reported by Napta's customers when talking about assignment , it would be the effect of the latter on your TACE (Rate of Excluded Leave Activity) as well as on your sales.
The TACE corresponds to the number of days your employee allocates to billable services out of the number of days available to him or her after deducting vacation days.
The better your assignment process, the more likely it is that your TACE will improve due to a greater number of billable days.
Why? Because your employee will spend his time doing what he's good at: using his technical skills to solve your customer's problem, rather than filling in boxes on an Excel file designed to manage your internal resources.
And it's this same intelligent use of your staff's time thanks to assignment that has a positive impact on your company's sales. Every stage in the life cycle of an assignment is accelerated, from the submission of your sales proposal to your prospect following a request for resources (Lead time to assignment) to the post-mission feedback (also known as REX).
These are just a few examples of ROI, which also extends to the management of your staff, with a general improvement in staff turnover within your firm. But while these ROI elements are indisputable, they require investment on the part of your firm to become a reality.
This work profoundly transforms the way teams work with each other, and the way the firm operates in general. And this transformation is a cost in itself. It has an opportunity cost.
Investing in your assignment will certainly be a lifesaver for your company, but it also means not making another investment. And that's why, when making your investment choices, it's crucial to understand the foreseeable return on investment of the assignment.
Another cost not to be overlooked is that of the investment required to move your teams from processes and tools that may be unsuited to resource management, but which are nonetheless mastered, to a system that has been tailor-made to succeed in the complex task of assignment , but which is still mostly unknown to your consultants and other staff.
To this human cost and the associated adaptation time must be added the cost of the assignment tool itself. On this point, the amount of investment required will depend on whether you opt for the creation of a tailor-made software package for your company or, on the contrary, save time by turning to a complete, pre-existing pre-existing assignment tool.
The reality on the ground teaches every consulting firm and IT services companies that it is very difficult to grow or even simply to carry out customer assignments efficiently without professional and precise organization and monitoring of resources.
And to achieve this, investment in a process and tool dedicated to assignment is essential, especially as the impact on two of the most important indicators for any consulting activity - TACE and sales - is significant.